The Bitcoin Photo Contest, a bit4coin-sponsored initiative to improve bitcoin’s image and expand bitcoin’s graphic representation, moves into its next phase this week as the regular voting phase ends on Oct. 15 and 50 images go to a jury for the final vote. The 50 images selected will include the 25 that get the most viewer tips and 25 that get the most viewer votes by Oct. 15. Each jury member can vote on up to five images, independent of regular viewer votes.
Two hundred artists have submitted more than 400 photos, drawings, and artwork since the contest launched on Sept. 8. The global bitcoin community has posted 5,000 likes for these submissions. Users have tipped 0.4 BTC to more than 20 specific images. Artists will receive their tips after the contest ends.
The jury votes will be announced on Oct. 21. The winning artist will receive €1,000 in bitcoin via bit4coin vouchers to be redeemed immediately (sans fee). The runner-up will receive €500 while the third place winner will get €250. All artists will receive the tips sent for their submissions. The jury consists of representatives of six bitcoin publications.
Artists own and keep all rights/IP to their artwork.
The idea for the contest was born out of a need for more bitcoin imagery, according to Dolf Diederichsen, CEO of bit4coin. “We had a difficulty finding good bitcoin photo material for our website, bit4coin.net, and noticed that many mainstream publications were re-using the same images of physical coins,” Diederichsen told CCN.com. “A dedicated bitcoin photo contest seemed like the best way to make more material available, and a good way to contribute and give back to the community.”
While the contest will provide material for graphic artists who work in the bitcoin community, the contest’s primary goal was to give something back to the bitcoin community, Diederichsen said. The contest helps the community by making more original photo material available.
“The contest also helped to focus creatives’ attention on bitcoin and think about what good images for bitcoin can look like,” Diederichsen said. “And by adding a dedicated bitcoin address to each image, it is possible for artists to receive native bitcoin tips for their work – even if they do not end up winning a prize.”
Diederichsen said visualizations are important for a new currency like bitcoin since they are needed to make bitcoin more tangible for new users. “It’s obviously hard to take images of a virtual currency like bitcoin, or anything digital for that matter,” he said. “However, from our experience with customers buying their first bitcoins, we believe visualizations are crucial to make bitcoin more tangible for new users and generate trust.”
“I don’t think the situation is better for other virtual currencies, but as we (bit4coin) trade exclusively in bitcoin, that’s where our focus is,” Diederichsen continued. “And we do hope the Bitcoin Photo Contest helps to increase bitcoin’s visibility and contributes a bit to its success.”
Diederichsen thinks the response to the contest from artists and viewers has been good. “We’re quite happy with the level of response – we did not do a lot of marketing and ran the photo contest entirely as a side project next to bit4coin.”
“More important than the number of submissions is the quality of submissions,” he continued. “And we think there are a lot of gems among the photos, where many creatives spent a lot of time and effort to create unique and high-quality artwork.”
Diederichsen also takes note of the variety of images. “Many are conceptual, some realistic, and there are even photos of amazing paintings around bitcoin,” he said. “We want to stay neutral and do not single out specific images, but I actually think some of the submissions did not get the attention they should have in terms of likes and BTC tips!”
The images in the gallery include a lot of original artwork, including conceptual and realistic renderings. “It’s probably easier for a skilled designer to create a new piece of art on her computer than to go out and take a photo of bitcoin used in the real world,” he said. “And we don’t really care whether it’s conceptual or realistic, as long as the quality is good. Personally, I would have liked to see even more images with people interacting with bitcoin in the real world.”
Viewers can add more votes to the images until Oct. 15.
Images from Shutterstock and Bit4coin.